James Townsend is a West Hollywood, CA based photographer.
His work has appeared in numerous magazines, websites, marketing materials and more.
In addition to photography, James is also involved in the film industry. through his film production company, ITP Productions, James has released a number of best-selling independent films and continues to move forward in creating more.
James is constantly working on new projects and in search of new models and other individuals to work with and network with....


THROUPLE interview

Hey James! Thank you so much for agreeing to let us interview you for the magazine and blog. I have  followed THROUPLE for a few months now and it seems like an amazing project with quite a history. I would love to follow along with the production and take some time in interviewing some of the actors, producers, etc. about the experience.  But, first— let’s start with you! — MARK NOAN “RAINBOW INDIE”


*** How did THROUPLE come about?
THROUPLE came about as some  weird idea a close friend and I had several years ago. I had just come out of a very bad relationship that I literally had to “escape” from… and, in doing so I closed up a lot. My walls were very very high.  Somehow I was doing background work on CSI: MIAMI one day down in Long Beach. I was minding my own business, having lunch alone and a guy sat across from me and swore he knew me. I laughed it off, but in fact he did— he knew me from online and I came to find out he lived just across the street from me. I am not sure if it was a “date” but we hung out, and became instant best friends… In some unexplained way, it hit “dating” stage but but he had guys on the side. That was fine. We remained friends… But, then when I started to have interest again in other people,  it seemed he wasn’t too keen on such. It was such an odd mix of jealousy and protectiveness. That guy was Juan Torres. 
When things leveled out, the two of us and another friend, Caleb Carter, had a night of  ”what if?” and somehow “THROUPLE” came into existence. It was such an homage of David Lynch type cinema… where things change without notice and get darker with still being sexy and funny and weird… In a way, “THROUPLE” became a reflection of what was actually happening in our real lives… A reflection of “confusion” and “where will this lead us?” All three of us were at some strange turning point in our lives, with so many questions… the script and ideas, etc. are a reflection of many of those questions— mixed with a lot of horror elements that well.. never happened, thank God!!! 
*** Who is the producer? What is his story?
The producer is Dave Benson.  (dlbenson@rogers.com) He is on the east coast and we have been talking for about a year or so. For once, it seems like someone truly believes in the project. I do wish there were more communication lately, as we are about three weeks behind schedule. But, hey— that is how production goes. He is a nice guy and has had a lot of input on overall casting etc. I look forward to having him actually meet the cast and crew in person. He seems a lot more hands-on and interested… perhaps even intrigued… by the production process. This is apparently his first film… so we may not always meet when planned due to time differences, but when we do, there is quite an energy there that is actually comforting. I’m pretty straight forward, but very easy going with communication. I have had so many fears and so much anxiety after the experience of KISSING DARKNESS…So, Dave has been pretty understanding… If he simply gives me a list of things to do, I do it. I kind of need that sort of “set list” meets creative freedom that he has given. I have good feelings about this! Despite all of my inner dread and whatnot! hehe
*** What did you draw inspiration from?
Well, it kinda goes hand in hand… THROUPLE came from some real life moments… met with interest in psychological thrillers a la David Lynch etc. To ask where inspiration comes from is kind of up in the air as every script is different. It can come from some random idea… some true life or just a “what if…?”. I tend to write a lot of “darker” material.  I guess it just comes as a reflection to what I am experiencing at the time. With “THROUPLE” that was a lot of “what nightmare did I escape? What do I do now? what is love?” etc… 
*** Explain exactly what a “throuple” is. The term has been in the news recently but I think a lot of people are confused and/or unfamiliar with it still.
THROUPLE is an established relationship between three people. I do see it has been in the news recently with a lesbian triad… Most people are used to romantic relationships being between just two people… That is the established idea that is accepted… THROUPLE, as a film, plays with the idea that love has no boundaries and that people can indeed love more than on person at a time… but, what is the aftermath? Somehow in the end, three is always a crowd. No matter what the relationship— friends, hanging out, romance, even a kinky dirty bedroom threesome— someone is always left out… THROUPLE questions what happens when that “left out” person reaches their emotional limits… 
*** Independent films often hit a lot of obstacles. Do you care to share some of your experiences?
Well, it is usually budgeting. Without a budget, there is no film. You learn to do things on the cheap, and pretty much every time you hit the editing room you have this “OMG with a few more dollars, we could have done THIS!!!!” or “One more day, these scenes could have been sooooo much better”.  You basically do what you can with what you are given. Every film I have made, I look back and have regrets on certain scenes or rewrites that had to happen due to budget restraints, etc… With independent LOW BUDGET film you often settle for what is not always the best. I am a perfectionist so I beat myself up a lot when I see mistakes or things not to how they could have been, all in all. 
*** It looks like you have an amazing cast of young men, based on the headshots shared. But, for fun—  who would be your dream cast for the roles if you could choose any Hollywood star?
haha I love the cast we have. There is a lot of fresh new talent there. Hell, one day perhaps some of them will be on the BIG screen! I haven’t given much though to who I would cast if I could have a “Hollywood” all-star cast… That game sort of messes with the character personas, I think… I will have to get back to you on that. I do see Logan Lerman as a perfect “SHANE” though. But, again— so much of that comes from an established persona… Not basing it on him but as the character he played in “PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER”… Hmmm, yeah— not sure how to answer that!
*** From reading the history of the film, there is a lot of loss that has happened. Now that the film is greenlit and moving forward… is there any struggle on your part?  Seems like it would bring up a lot of memories… 
There are good days and there are bad days. Originally, my co-star and co-writer, and more importantly my friend, committed suicide during production. For years, the script has come into view, waiting to be finished, remade— whatever you wanna call it. Some days, when there is good communication and things are sailing smoothly, I smile and  it drives me forward. On other days, I am haunted by it all. I am kind of at a fine middle-ground on everything… But, feel once completed, it will be a great closure… I wish it was completed years ago, as planned and that it didnt have to be remade, etc. I miss my friend. I just want it to be complete.
*** Having followed you on Facebook and Tumblr, you have a major creative drive… What is “James” like when creativity is not the focus?
Eh, if I am not creative, I am pretty boring. Creativity is my saving grace, it is all I know. I don’t think it ever leaves me, as my mind is constantly spinning up new ideas. Damn, I really do not know what I am like when creativity is not in focus… Not “me”, I suppose. 
*** You have Tammie Brown on board for the film!!! She is such a favorite of the drag community. How did you make that happen?!
Tammie is amazing. Her sense of style, humor and just overall randomness is insane— in a GREAT way. I know Tammie through event planning. I have worked with her on several events and am always left with a smile and a “what did I just watch?!” She works hard and is such a sweetheart that isn’t mainstream. I have such a respect for her and she knows how to simply just laugh at things when they aren’t going to how you want them to. Yes, we all get angry and say things we dont necessarily mean, and have bad days, etc… but Tammie is one of those people that have taught me to simply just find the humor in things and  try to laugh… crack a joke and try to smile… it helps.. I am so excited to have her on board. There is a Halloween party scene that she crashes and gets to turn into a weird musical number. As we have talked, I pretty much want to give her full direction of that scene. I want 200% pure Tammie— the more random, weird, funny, the better!!!! 
*** When can we expect to see a trailer… or even a “teaser” of THROUPLE? 
Well, we need to start rolling cameras first… I hope that once we start filming, we can have at least a teaser within a few weeks. With the history of the film, etc… I want to document everything— behind the scenes, video diary, etc.. There is a lot to tell. We have been invited to some conventions and stuff already. But, with being slightly behind schedule I doubt we will meet the deadlines to do much with the invitation…  So, fingers are crossed!!! 
*** KISSING DARKNESS was a great script with a lot of talented people. I laughed a lot with your joke writing and mix of horror. The film had such potential to be a HUGE hit in the indie “gay” scene. Why didn’t it have a festival run? What happened with it all?
Oh gosh, those are all questions I am seeking answers to. We had an amazing cast and crew. There was simply a lot of non-communication and misunderstanding… I have done other interviews about such and hell— I am still scratching my head for answers. 

*** Can we expect to see more of you in front of the camera? For awhile, you were in some of the hottest “gay” films out there… Then you somehow took to being behind the camera. Why is that?       
I would love to be in front of the camera again. Somehow I just fell behind the camera. I guess it is the go-getter attitude… Simple, if you want stuff done— do it yourself! I enjoy both aspects. I do need to audition more and get out there for “in front” of the camera purposes. Hell, maybe I will make a cameo in THROUPLE. There are still several featured roles to be cast!  And hey, I did bare all in KISSING DARKNESS!!! So, I pop up every now and then! ;-) 
*** If you could work with any director, who would it be and why?
Baz Luhrman! His work simply wows me. He has such a unique visionary style and way of directing. I have loved what he has done with classics like ROMEO & JULIET and THE GREAT GATSBY… absolutely love MOULIN ROUGE… He has only made a small handful of films but every single one is just an overload of an experience. 
*** What is your pet peeve about the independent film scene? 
The lack of money!!!!   It isn’t even a pet peeve but more of a challenge. You realize with every edit that things could be done better with just a tad bit more money, etc… But same time, that lack of money gets you to be more creative… 
*** Have you ever had a crush or romantic relationship with a co-star? Please, we need the spill!!! 
Not really. I have dated a few people that appeared in my films. But, that was always a situation that had happened beforehand… they were merely in the film because we were dating… I know how romantic drama can occur on set and have seen some past actors try to slyly “date” while on set together. It entirely ruins the scenes. For, just as you realize what is happening with them, a fight usually occurs that breaks them up and makes it awkward the rest of the shoot. No bueno!!!!

*** Where do you see your films standing in 5 years? 
Hopefully we will have higher budgets… be union so we can work with some of the SAG actors interested in my films but unable to participate. I simply just hope to still be creating stuff… Long as I am doing that, I am happy. People have a lot of hope for THROUPLE… some keep telling me this is the break… I sure hope so!!!!